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Alcoholism And Incapacity

May 24, 2013

Authors

Luke Lantta

Alcoholism And Incapacity

May 24, 2013

by: Luke Lantta

A common theme of plaintiffs in lack of capacity cases is that some kind of cognitive impairment, such as dementia, chronic alcoholism, or major depression, by itself indicates that the grantor or testator lacked the requisite capacity to create a trust or will, respectively.  In Dorsey v. Ratz (link from Justia), a Maryland federal court recently looked at whether the diagnosis of major depressive disorder and alcohol dependence suggested incompetence when it came to executing a change of beneficiary form on a life insurance policy.

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Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

I’m guessing that most people don’t take the time to read the fine print on life insurance or IRA change of beneficiary forms.  And why should they, since it seems pretty self-explanatory: I once put my wife’s name in this box, now I want to put my kids’ names in that box.  The reason why you want to pay attention to that fine print is because – to be effective – that fine print usually has to be strictly complied with.

In Smith v. Marez, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, applying New York law, ruled that a decedent’s failure to strictly comply with the change of beneficiary form requirements for his IRAs meant that the IRA assets went to his wife and not his kids.

So what did Leonard George Smith do wrong?

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